IV - 9 Water Faucets by leader6


									[ Housing and Related ]

  IV                                          9. Water Faucets

1. Definition of Category
     This section takes up fixtures (water taps, shower heads, etc.) directly connected to water service pipes
   for controlling the flow of water etc. used mainly in the general home.
        HS Numbers                  Commodity
        8481.80                     Cocks, valves, and other similar objects for water taps , etc.
        8481.90                     Parts of the above

        Note: The above HS classes include items other than water faucets as handled in this section.

2. Import Trends
  (1) Recent Trends in Water Faucets Imports
        There are no statistics on the value and volume of imports of water faucets as taken up in this section,
      but industry experts estimate that about ¥1 billion worth of these fixtures are imported each year.
        The Water Works Law, etc. regulate water faucets when being distributed in Japan, so in the past only
      the very small percentage of foreign fixtures that met with Japanese standards had been imported. The
      moves toward deregulation, however, such as the recognition of the brass water faucets used in the
      western countries as complying with Japanese standards, the growing interest of the consumer in im-
      ported housing and system kitchens, and, further, the increasing production by Japanese manufacturers
      in other Asian countries have resulted in an increase in imports. The industry says that the growth of
      imports in the futurewill largely depend on the improvement of quality levels of Asian-made products.
  (2) Imports by Place of Origin
        While there are no statistics on imports of water faucets, almost all these fixtures are being imported
      from the West. The greatest volume comes from Germany, followed by the United States and then,
      though not large in amount, from Italy and Spain. Many of these western faucets and other fixtures are
      beautiful in design and color, and have been mainly relatively high class items designed for hotels etc.
      Therefore, they were higher in unit price than domestic fixtures. Today, however, there is an increase in
      imports of mass market types for the general home that can compete with domestic fixtures in price.
        Japanese manufacturers have also been establishing production facilities overseas, for example, in
      Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, and in China starting from the
      1990s. Imports from these countries should therefore grow in the future.
  (3) Imports’ Market Share in Japan
       There are no statistics on the export and import of water faucets, so the exact share of imports in the
      domestic market is not clear. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, however, gives a value of
      ¥90.2 billion for 1999 domestic production of taps for water supply and drains in the Yearbook of Ma-
      chinery Statistics. Industry experts estimate imports reach over ¥1 billion. From this, it may be esti-
      mated that imports account for below 1% of the domestic market.
                      Fig. 1 Trends in domestic production of water faucets (reference)
                                                 1996         1997          1998          1999
                          Domestic production    114,135      123,183        93,861        90,155

                            <Annual change>        100.4       107.9          76.2             96.1
                          Unit: ¥ million            Source: Yearbook of Machinery Statistics (METI)

3. Key Considerations related to Importing
  (1) Regulations and Procedural Requirements at the Time of Importation
       There are no particular legal regulations governing the import of water faucets.

                                                                                                                      Water Faucets

(2) Regulations and Procedural Requirements at the Time of Sale
     The installation of water faucets, whether imported or made domestically, is regulated under the Water
    Works Law and the Building Standard Law.
 1) Water Works Law
        The installation of water faucets, whether imported or made domestically, is regulated under the
      Water Works Law. In Japan, water is supplied to the faucet of the general home from the water re-
      source via a water purification plant, pumping station, supply line, distribution pipe, service pipe.
      The Water Works Law in principle covers everything up to the faucet (direct connection type of
      water supply). As opposed to this, when the water pressure of the distribution pipe is insufficient,
      or a large amount of water is required at one time such as in high story condominiums, hotels, and
      office buildings, the water received from the water distribution pipe is stored in a water tank and
      then supplied to the individual rooms, etc. (tank type of water supply). In this case, The Water
      Works Law covers only up to the water meter.
        The Water Works Law stipulates that waterworks are in principle to be under the control of the
      municipal governments or waterworks authorities. For metal faucets, in the past the Japan Water
      Works Association gave type approval for all faucets except standardized ones (standard JIS prod-
      ucts and standard JWWA products) and the municipal governments approved installation by des-
      ignated installers for only faucets which were type approved and complied with the standards.
      Amendments to the Law in 1997 abolished the type approval system as follows and reevaluated
      the system of designated installers.

    <Clarification of government standards and Introduction of third party certification>
        The standards of structure and material of water service devices, which had previously differed
      with each city and town, were standardized into a single set of government standards for perform-
      ance (see Fig. 3). Other than standard JIS products and other standard products, self certific ation
      and third party certification have been recognized in place of the old type approval. Further, a sys-
      tem of mutual certification with other countries was introduced. In the future, the results of the
      testing laboratories and evaluating organizations of other countries will be accepted.

    <Changes in the designated water works installer system>
        In the past, municipalities adopted a system of designated installers for water pipes, because of
      the need for continuous oversight and 24-hour emergency response for water works. Moreover, the
      municipalities themselves were in charge of certification. But because of the resulting inconsisten-
      cies in certification standards the 1997 amendments to the Water Works Law established a national
      government certification program to eliminate these inconsistencies. As a result, installers e    m-
      ploying nationally certified technical specialists (water pipe installation supervisory technicians)
      are authorized to install water works in any locale in Japan.
                                       Fig. 2     Legal Structure of the Water Works Law

                                                          Application of water supply
                  Waterworks authorities                                                   Waterworks authorities
                    (Municipalities)                                                         (Municipalities)

        Application                     Designation   order                                               Supply of certified products
                                                                     Install a-
                           Designated                                                           Manufacturers
                      water works installers
                                                                                        • Self-certified products
                                                                                        • JIS products
               Water pipe installation super-
                                                                                        • Third party certified products
               visory technicians                       Supply of certified products

          Water pipe installation supervisory                 National government           Performance standards of structure and materials
                 technician program                                                                    of water supply d evices
                                                              (Water Works Law)

[ Housing and Related ]

             Fig. 3     Performance standards of structure and materials of water supply devices
                                                   Standard content                                              Covered devices
                        Stipulates water pressure load-bearing standard for water supply de-
        Pressure                                                                             All water supply devices
                        Stipulates that materials emitted from equipment not cause harm to              Devices attached to equipment
                        human health                                                                    supplying drinking water
        Water force     Maximum internal pressure standard for d   evices, to protect water
        limit           mains when faucets and valves are suddenly shut off
        Backflow                                                                                        Devices with backflow stopper
                        Standard for backflow pressure from device secondary side
        prevention                                                                                      valves
                        Performance standard for vacuum breakers to prevent reverse siphon- Devices with vacuum breakers,
                        ing caused by air intake at the nozzle when water pressure drops on and devices with water discharge
                        the primary side of the device                                      nozzle spaces
                        Standard stipulating normal valve operation after device is exposed to          Devices designed for use in cold
        Cold bearing
                        freezing conditions                                                             areas
                        Standard stipulating normal valve operation after 100,000 open-close
        Durability                                                                           Valves

          Third-party certification organizations and their contact information are listed below. For more
        complete information about the performance standards and certification, please refer to the Water
        Device Database at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (http://ww.mizudb.or.jp).
      • Japan Water Works Association (JWWA)                 TEL: 03-3264-2281                                        http://www.jwwa.or.jp
      • Japan Heating Appliances Inspection Association (JHIA)
                                                             TEL: 0467-45-6277                                        http://www.jhia.or.jp
      • Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET)
                                                             TEL: 03-3466-5234                                        http://www.jet.or.jp
      • Japan Gas Appliances Inspection Association (JIA)    TEL: 03-5570-5981                                        http://www.jia-page.or.jp
      • Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)                  TEL: 03-3571-3188                                        http://www.ul.com

   2) Building Standard Law
          The Water Works Law does not cover office buildings, hotels, and other such buildings. The en-
        forcement order of the Building Standard Law, however, regulates piping facilities based on the
        Water Works Law. There are no restrictions on the materials and specifications of water faucets or
        installer certification, etc. as seen in the Water Works Law.

                                                 Fig.4 Flowchart of waterworks

                                                                                         Service pipe
                                                                                    Supply line
                                                                                                                              Service pipe

              Water resource          Water purification plant         Pumping station                        Building tank                  Building

                                                                                         Distribution pipe
                                                          Waterworks                                                            Building
                                                             Law                                                              Standard Law

  (3) Competent Agencies
      • Water Works Law
          Water Supply Division, Health Service Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
                                                          TEL: 03-5253-1111                                  http://www.mhlw.go.jp

      • Building Standard Law
          Building Guidance Division, Housing Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
                                                          TEL: 03-5253-8111                                  http://www.mlit.go.jp

                                                                                                    Water Faucets

4. Labeling
 (1) Legally Required Labeling
      There are no mandatory labeling requirements under the law regarding the sale of water faucets.

 (2) Voluntary Labeling Based on Provisions of Law
  1) Industrial Standardization Law (JIS Law)                                                          JIS Mark
         Under the Japan Industrial Standardization Law, standards are set for
       the quality of industrial products. Products meeting the JIS standards may
       be labeled with the JIS mark of approval. Water faucets are subject to JIS
       mark program, and JIS standards are used to the performance standards
       stipulated by the Water Works Law.
       For detail on the JIS mark, contact:
     • Japanese Standards Association           TEL: 03-3583-8000            http://www.jsa.or.jp

 (3) Voluntary Industry Labeling
  1) Common Certification Mark
       The four organizations recognized as third party certification organizations (excluding Underwriters
     Laboratories Inc.) are newly using common certification marks for water service devices meeting the
     standards of performance set by the government. They may also affix marks to metal faucets meeting
     the standards.
                                         Common Certification Mark

 Common mark       Japan Water Works     Japan Heating Appliances    Japan Gas Appliances      Japan Electrical Safety &
                      Association         Inspection Association    Inspection A  ssociation   Environment Technology
                        (JWWA)                    (JHIA)                     (JIA)                Laboratories (JET)

  1) Labeling under the Quality Residential Housing Component Certification Standards :
     <BL (Better Living) Mark>                                              BL Mark
         The BL Mark is to be displayed on housing components that
       have been recognized as superior in quality and performance,
       certified through the Center for Better Living. The BL Mark is a
       symbol of safety and quality.
         The purpose of the Mark is to protect consumers and assure
       safe building practices in the housing industry. A of September
       2000, eight water faucets have been awarded the BL Mark.

         As of April 1, 1998, three new types of labeling markings were instituted for use in conjunction
       with the BL Mark program, which provides identifying information about BL components. These
       new markings are the aging society compatibility mark, the standardization compliance mark and
       the environmentally friendly mark.
         •The Center for Better Living               TEL: 03-5211-0572            http://www.blhp.org

          Aging society compatibility mark    Standardization compliance mark Environmental friendly mark
                      (yellow)                         (pink)                       (green)

[ Housing and Related ]

5. Taxes
  (1) Customs Duties
       There are no tariffs imposed on water faucets.
  (2) Consumption Tax
       CIF x 5%

6. Product Characteristics
     The water faucets imported from the West feature unique designs and colors not available in domestic
   fixtures. Western products have mostly been of a luxury feel in the past and have been priced commens u-
   rately higher than domestic fixtures as a result. Recently, however, prices have dropped due to the appre-
   ciation of the yen and, with the introduction of more mass market types as well, the number of products
   competing with domestic fixtures has been rising.
     On the other hand, most of the imports from other Asian countries are development imports produc ed by
   domestic manufactures at their overseas plants. These latter items are functionally identical to their domes-
   tic counterparts. Further, many of the fixtures produced overseas by Japanese manufacturers are being sold
   on the local markets or being exported to nearby Asian countries where they are highly regarded.

7. Domestic Distribution System and Business Practices
  (1) Domestic Market Conditions
        The two top domestic manufacturers hold between them approximately 75% - 80% share of the mar-
      ket for water faucets. The top five together hold nearly 90% of the market. A look at sales by product
      category shows that single type faucets that can tap both cold and hot water hold an overwhelmingly
      high share in terms of both value and volume. Industry sources say that demand for faucets will be af-
      fected by the overall economic situation and the trend of new housing, but there will be no sudden fall
      in demand. Demand for faucets is expected to show a stable trend.
        Imports account for only a very small share. There are, however, some overseas manufacturers which
      are aggressively marketing their products by establishing Japanese subsidiaries to set up sales bases,
      publishing factories approved by the JWWA in Japan to speed procedures, and taking other action along
      with deregulation. These have already clinched shares of certain market segments such as hotels and of-
      fice buildings that desire to project high class images. The recent growing interest in imported housing
      and the spread of system kitchens in general condominiums etc. have also led to foreign entry into these
      market segments.
        Turning to the restrictions under the Water Works Law, some overseas manufacturers have exported
      fixtures after performing the processing required for compliance with Japanese standards in their over-
      seas factories, such as the provision of backflow prevention valves, but other manufacturers are n      ot
      modifying their products overseas, but exporting them first and then attaching internal fittings etc. to
      bring their products into compliance with domestic standards. In this case, the use of domestic parts etc.
      apparently is advantageous in facilitating maintenance and after-sales service after installation.

  (2) Distribution Channels
        In Japan, plumbing work is restricted to installers authorized by the local governments or those hold-
      ing national government qualification. Accordingly, both imports and domestically produced products
      pass through substantially the same channels to reach the plumbing contractors.
        An increasingly used distribution channels in recent years have been orders placed from housing
      manufacturers for water faucets and other building materials. That is, the housing manufacturers have
      been placing orders directly with manufacturers of building materials and contracting just the actual
      installation work to the plumbing contractors so as to reduce costs. For example, a large German water
      faucet manufacturer is directly supplying system kitchen water faucets to housing manufacturers.
        In addition, small hardware stores sometimes also handle water faucets for D.I.Y. though, since there
      are regulations for the installation of these in the general home, the amount handled in these hardware
      stores is probably not that much.

                                                                                                                   Water Faucets

                             Fig. 5 Typical distribution system of water faucets

                                                  Overseas manufacturers or exporters

                                                           Japanese importers

                                                              Japanese subsidiaries of overseas makers


                               Housing makers, housing material makers             Home centers, other retailers

                                                           Water works installers


  (3) Key Considerations for entering the Japanese Market
        There are no legal regulations governing the import of water faucets. There are, however, a number of
      regulations that restrict domestic distribution. While regulations are being eased, care is required when
      trying to newly enter the market.

 8. After-Sales Service
     All domestic manufacturers maintain inventories of parts for after -sales service and set up to be able to
   immediately fill orders from qualified contractors. It is very important also for imports to provide proper
   after-sales service such as maintenance of inventories and cooperation with contractors.
     Note that the enforcement of the Product Liability Law means that the importer will be held liable for any
   defect in the imported products that are shown to have caused bodily harm, so full care must be taken with
   quality control.
     The PL Center for Housing Components of the Center for Housing Renovation Dispute Settlement Sup-
   port provides consultation and mediation regarding harm to health or physical damage caused by defects in
   housing components, and offers arbitration when mutual negotiations do not go well regarding problems
   caused by housing and housing components.
     In addition, housing components certified as BL components by the Center for Better Living are required
   to offer a two-year free repair warranty for any produc t defects. The warranty applies not only to product
   defects but also to defects in installation workmanship.

 9. Related Product Categories
     Related products of water faucets include industrial use water faucets, service pipes, sprinklers, water fil-
   ters, etc. Water pipes for direct connection to the water system are subject to the provisions of the Water
   Works Law and, in the case of office buildings, hotels, etc., to the Building Standard Law. Sprinklers are
   also subject to the provisions of the Fire Service Law. Water filters are subject to the provisions of the Food
   Sanitation Law.

10. Direct Imports by Individuals
     Water faucets may be freely imported without restriction by any particular law. However, it is important
   to note that the Water Works Law only allows persons with recognized qualifications to install water fau-
   cets in general housing.

11. Related Organization
   • Japan Water Works Association                TEL: 03-3264-2281                        http://www.jwwa.or.jp


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